Fund­ing ser­vice drops Pales­tinian char­ity

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

AN ON­LINE fund­ing plat­form has with­drawn its ser­vices from a Pales­tinian char­ity that has been ac­cused of hav­ing links to Ha­mas.

In­ter­pal can no longer use MyDonate, which is BT’s not-for-profit on­line fundrais­ing ser­vice for UK Char­i­ties.

MyDonate with­drew its ser­vices after UK Lawyers for Is­rael (UKLFI) wrote to Visa and Mastercard, the credit card com­pa­nies linked to the ser­vice, say­ing In­ter­pal is des­ig­nated a for­eign ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion in the US. It has been des­ig­nated as a ter­ror­ist en­tity by the US Depart­ment of the Trea­sury since 2003.

It is classed as a Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist (SDGT), which means that any of its as­sets in the US must be frozen, and that trans­ac­tions with US na­tion­als are pro­hib­ited.

It is also listed as a ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing en­tity in Canada but the Char­ity Com­mis­sion al­lows In­ter­pal to op­er­ate in the UK legally.

UKLFI di­rec­tor Caro­line Turner said: “We are pleased that BT and the credit card com­pa­nies have com­plied with US law.”

A BT spokesper­son said: “We have been obliged to re­move In­ter­pal from the list of char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions able to re­ceive do­na­tions via our MyDonate plat­form, due to In­ter­pal’s sta­tus as a Spe­cially Des­ig­nated Global Ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der US law and in or­der to pro­tect the fundrais­ing abil­ity of the many char­i­ties that de­pend on our ser­vice.”

In­ter­pal had a large pres­ence on MyDonate plat­form pro­mot­ing sev­eral fundrais­ing cam­paigns.

A spokesper­son said: “In­ter­pal is a British, UK-reg­is­tered char­ity which has a long his­tory of pro­vid­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian and emer­gency re­lief to Pales­tini­ans in des­per­ate need, for which it has been com­mended by politi­cians on all sides of the Houses of Par­lia­ment, fel­low aid agen­cies and the UN Re­lief and Works Agency, with whom it is re­garded as a val­ued part­ner.

“The Char­ity Com­mis­sion has in­ves­ti­gated and cleared In­ter­pal with re­gard to false al­le­ga­tions, and our des­ig­na­tion has been cited as base­less on count­less oc­ca­sions; there­fore we are in an on­go­ing process to have it lifted. For these rea­sons, any cam­paign to hin­der or pre­vent our work is out­ra­geous, dis­ap­point­ing and harms our ben­e­fi­cia­ries.”

The char­ity, which is reg­u­lated by the Char­i­ties Com­mis­sion, de­scribes it­self as “non-po­lit­i­cal” and work­ing to sup­port the most vul­ner­a­ble.”

It states: “We ex­ist to em­power Pales­tini­ans to face their chal­lenges and hard­ships in our prin­ci­pal ar­eas of op­er­a­tion: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the refugee camps in Jor­dan and Le­banon.”

Any cam­paign to hin­der our work is out­ra­geous’

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